DES MOINES, Iowa – For several years, Freedom for Youth Ministries, at 2301 Hickman Road, has employed three teens and young adults in need of a job at its coffee grounds store, the Freedom Blend Coffee Cabin. But selling coffee grounds is only a fraction of FFYM’s business plan; now, the non-profit focused on helping inner city youth is opening a full-blown coffee shop.
“We’ll be able to employ 30 to 40 teens and young adults, many who might be homeless,” said Denise Juhl, Director of Young Adult Ministry with the group. “This location is basically in the inner city in Des Moines, on the north side, and there’s not a lot of jobs for teens. In fact, there was a study done approximately three years ago from Broadlawns to Mercy Hospital, showing there were 42 possible jobs for teens. And more than half of those are being taken by adults, because they need them. So we had to be about job development, and helping these kids learn what it is to have a job, to get a paycheck, and to understand work ethic.”
The new coffee shop will replace an abandoned car wash next door to Freedom for Youth Ministries. Not only will workers blend coffee grounds, but they’ll sell coffee and specialty drinks, all while giving youth in the area a place to hang out and study after school. The shop will serve as an employment-training center for high school students and young adults enrolled in the center’s programs. It will also include a drive-thru window, meeting rooms, and a worship center.
A groundbreaking ceremony will mark the beginning of construction Friday night at 6 p.m. The shop is expected to be open in spring or summer of 2016.